Communication and Culture - Hip Hop

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Use your knowledge of selected theoretical perspectives and key concepts to evaluate the views about hip hop expressed here. (40 marks) Hip hop marks a significant change in society. It represents the expression of disenfranchised young people originally from the Bronx. However what argument A tries to express is that hip hop is slowly loosing its value and significance looking from a Marxist point of view. Hip hop had many values associated with its subculture, values were based on there life the ability to express themselves lyrically and reach out to the people. The significance of hip hop was the evolution of how it was able to be accepted into the mainstream culture and influence contemporary culture. However the case today is that what was ‘once a folk expression has since matured into a multi-million dollar industry’. The hip-hop industry can now be seen as a form of capitalism as it incorporates the three key components. You have the owner – record labels, producers, the workers – rappers, MC’s, Artists and you have the consumer – people who buy the products derived from this industry. The Frankfurt school may say that we think we are enjoying the hip hop culture but we are being brainwashed and exposed to capitalism through the concept of private ownership, competition, consumerism and hierarchy. We see this through socialisation a main agent being the media. In music videos we see rappers dressed in the most expensive clothes all designer, the expensive jewellery, latest phones, the women with perfect bodies, the drinks the atmosphere. They create a hyper real world that people want to be a part of having the money, clothes and the fame all of which is commodity fetishism. This is summed up by a lyrics taken from a rising hip hop star Drake’s song successful “I want the money, money and car, cars and hoes, the hoes I suppose I just want to be I just want to be successful’. This here reinforces argument A’s view in that hip hop is loosing its value...
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